Fashion Show Fun at Crystal Couture

New York’s Fashion Week starts on February 11, 2015, when hordes of models, designers, hardworking assistants and stitchers, stagehands and crew, fashion reporters and bloggers, and fashion followers descend upon to revel in the Fall/Winter 2015 fashion collections. It’s the one big event (well, two, since it happens twice a year) that I really miss about no longer working in NYC – I miss the scene and early access to trends.

Here in Arlington, VA, we are not immune to the lure of the fashion show – the Crystal City BID has hosted Crystal Couture for the last several years, several days of runway shows and shopping, right in Crystal City. I’ve never gone, but finally went this year, on the first two nights. It was so much fun! Sure, it wasn’t Zang Toi or Carmen Marc Valvo, but it was here and accessible, and just as much fun. We even saw Miss District of Columbia, so it wasn’t without celebrities, either! Crystal Couture 13 Crystal Couture 15The event was set up with booths for several dozen local boutiques and designers, with a square runway that ran through all of them. DJ Neekola, fierce in her bubble gum pink hair, spun tunes the whole night, while the runway shows were almost back to back. My friends and I had a fabulous time shopping and watching the shows, as well as doing the obligatory people watching – seeing what everyone else was wearing was just as fun as seeing the models’ outfits! I didn’t catch the names of which designer was which show, I’m afraid…

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Seriously, some of the best shoes were not on the women!

I didn’t buy much, just some jewelry.

Love my new necklace from Hush Boutique!

Love my new necklace from Hush Boutique!

The jewelry by Evelyn Brooks was my favorite, and I bought a bracelet after chatting with the designer herself. I like that it is unusual but full of meaning and culture and history. The huayruro seeds are native to Central and South America, and are said to bring good luck, love and happiness. And who can’t use a little love, luck and happiness?! Plus, the vivid red colors at her booth made me think of upcoming Valentine’s Day. I strongly encourage you to read about Evelyn on her website, because she’s not only making eco-friendly jewelry which is showcased all over the world, she aspires to be a role model by teaching jewelry classes in Spanish and English. These are the kinds of artists I’m proud to support, so I look forward to wearing my bracelet (and the two little charms) as much as possible.

Now I can’t wait for next year’s Crystal Couture event! I guess I will have to console myself in the near future by watching New York Fashion Week news. Hopefully I can survive…

And I feel like I totally scored by finding this couture banner bag, created and given away by the Crystal City BID, complete with the BID's Twitter tag on it!

And I feel like I totally scored by finding this Couture banner bag, created and given away by the Crystal City BID, complete with the BID’s Twitter tag on it!






Downton Abbey at Work

There are many reasons why I think I have a really cool job, and PBS is one of them. I have spent the last almost three years working with the HR manager at PBS on active transportation and wellness benefits and amenities, and getting to go to the corporate headquarters always seems like a treat. I’ve been a PBS fan from early on, and that’s pretty much the only TV I watch these days. It’s just the best programming, and I’m not saying that because I work with the company. Not only are the hallways full of Big Bird and Mystery! series posters, but the lobby often has fun extras, like the “Call the Midwife” vintage bicycle a while ago, or the TV Christmas tree I saw today. PBS TV Christmas Tree_TLCurrently, PBS is promoting the upcoming Season 5 launch of Downton Abbey, and in a BIG way. PBS Lady Mary and Me_TLYep, right there on the side of their building is Lady Mary! PBS and the Crystal City BID teamed up to put up this huge image, and are encouraging the public to Tweet their Lady Mary selfies to #DowntonPBS – so naturally I did! Fun! I can’t wait to start the next season in a few weeks! (yes, you Brits who get to see it earlier than us have an advantage – don’t give anything away!)

My contact at PBS gave my colleague and me Downton Abbey goodies as we left – a tea bag and coaster promoting the show. You better believe I will be taking a #BIGsip with #DowntonPBS on January 4th! PBS DowntonAbbeyTea_TLAdmittedly, I mostly love the costumes, but over the four seasons, I have definitely been sucked into the drama as well. What will happen next? Weeks of torture to slowly find out… Is anyone else as excited about the series as I am?!